Saturday, March 28, 2020

For the Genealogists


Obituaries Found in Local Newspapers  March 1920

For the second time in five weeks, that the grim reaper entered the home of James and Amanda Broyles at Russellville. William Dailey Broyles, (44) passed away at 3 o’clock on March 15, 1920, following a brief illness of pneumonia.  His father preceded him in death on February 7, five weeks earlier. William was a farmer.  Interment was in Fairview cemetery in Vincennes.

Ruth Ellen Potts Akers, 26, born June 18, 1893, died March 14, 1920, of tuberculosis.  She was the daughter of Edward and Sarah Potts and was married to Leslie Clellan Akers, November 22, 1909.  To this union were born five children, two sons and three daughters.  Two daughters died in infancy. 

Margaret Ann Norris Gerhart, 74, was born in Whitley County, Indiana, September 6, 1845, and died March 12, 1920. She married Jacob Gerhart on March 24, 1864, and in 1869, they moved to Lawrence County. In 1872, they moved to the Gerhart place where they resided until her death. Two sons and five daughters were born to this union. Her husband, Jacob, died July 21, 1917. Margaret was buried in the Centerville cemetery.

Inez Ritchie, 22,was born in Pinkstaff, July 25, 1898. On October 30, 1914 at the early age of sixteen, she was married to Aaron Ritchie. One son, Daniel Richard Ritchie was born.  Funeral services were held at the St. James A. M. E. church.

Henry Mundorf passed away at his home March 17, 1920, on the State Road, north of Sumner.

Elzina Harmons Creek Houchins,78, daughter of George and Elizabeth Harmons born October3, 1841, near Owensville Indiana, died March 10, 1920. She was first married to John Henry Creek in 1859. In the year 1871, she married her second husband, Dabney Houchins, who died April 28, 1898.  Mrs. Houchins was buried at Gilead cemetery.

Lydia Vandermark Seed, one of the oldest residents of Lawrence County, died March 20, 1920, at the age of 89.  Grandma Seed, as she was familiarly known by everyone, was in good health, keeping her own house and doing her own work.  She was the daughter of James and Susana Vandermark, one of 12 children, and was born in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, October 6, 1839.  She came to Illinois with her parents in 1841, the family driving through in a wagon. At that time Lawrence County was heavily wooded and almost a wilderness.  She married October 12, 1848, to Wm. Seed, who died July 21, 1893. The Seed home was noted for its hospitality. She moved to Bridgeport in 1894, and lived there until her death. The body was taken to Zion Cemetery for interment.

Charles A. Mortz, 37, second son of John and Amanda Mortz was born April 12, 1882, and departed this life, March 21, 1920. He was married to Miss Calla Jones on February 24, 1909 and they had 4 children. Funeral services were held at the King Hotel in Bridgeport with interment in the Lawrenceville Cemetery. 

Mrs. William E. Morgan Berninger, 47, died in Indianapolis after she underwent an operation for gall stones on Wednesday. The doctors removed 117 stones, and the operation was deemed a success but on Saturday her heart began to weaken and on Sunday, she died.  Interment was at the Sumner Cemetery.

Fred Hamilton and his wife, with their four children -two boys and two girls- aged 11 to 4 years old, lived on the G. H. Gillespie farm near Bridgeport. The parents both died, one February 27, the other March 3. A still-born baby was delivered to the mother hours before her death.  Mr. Hamilton worked for the Ohio Oil Company, and the company and his fellow workers furnished money to assist with the burials. Interment was in the Bridgeport city cemetery. The Red Cross sent a nurse to take charge of the home.  The children were later taken to the Orphans Home at Albion, Illinois.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Bridgeport Service Station Building Almost 100 Years Old


Lowell Stout 1952
 Lowell E. Stout (1925-2019) standing in front of his Standard Service Station, southeast corner of Main and Chestnut streets in downtown Bridgeport, Illinois, 1952.  The picture was taken looking to the southeast.  There is a new 1952 Studebaker to the left in the background.  The brick Bridgeport telephone exchange building is also shown in the background. The North sides of Tom Weger’s barbershop and Little Joe’s tavern are shown on the right side of the photo according to J King.

King provided more information about the building itself.  The Vincennes Commercial, June 19, 1923, reported that the new Standard filling station at Bridgeport was nearing completion.  “What was once a rather ugly corner is now a place of beauty.” So that little building is almost 100 years old.  

In 1938, the Standard Oil Station was owned by F. M. Seed.  
This photo was taken sometime around 1955.  Arista Peneton, Wilbur Keneipp and Raymond Camp are shown in front of the same station, but then owned by Wilbur D. Keneipp and selling Marathon Products. 

Does anyone else any photos of this station?

Thursday, March 26, 2020

School News,General News, News of Organizations, and Just Plain Gossip March, 1920

School News March 1920

  • Glade School house, District #70, also known as North Center in Russell Township, burned but was insured for $1500.  The Birds schoolhouse burned with a loss of about $7000 including books and furniture.
  • Some of the country schools ended their school terms at the end of March, having only a six- month school term.
  • Teachers examinations were held at the Lawrenceville high school. Any person 17 years of age who had completed least 2 years of high school could take the exam. They had to bring their own pens and ink however.
  • School had been closed at the Sumner school for two weeks because of the flu.  Assignments had been given and the work was expected to have been done at home.  Russell Roberts and Ray Shick took that opportunity to just drop out of school and work on the farm.  Miss Conrades Wright who had been attending LTHS,decided to transfer to  Sumner High School.
  • From the Observer section of the Lawrence County News, this section being written by LTHS students, it was learned that Miss Gladys Goins of the Junior class quit school and married Ross Gooch of Owensville, Indiana.
  • The teacher training class at LTHS enrolled 28 little tots and began conducting a kindergarten.

Organizations March, 1920


  • The Lawrence County Tubercular Association was formed with the following officers, President, W. R. Simpson, Secretary, Miss Mary Smith, and Treasurer, F.W. Keller.  Vice presidents from each township were named as follows:  Allison- Miss Esther Warner, Bond- Mrs. Roscoe Pinkstaff, Bridgeport- Mrs. Clay Seed, Christy- Mrs. Wm. McNece, Denison- Mrs. Charles Moore, Lawrence- Paul F. Lewis, Lukin- Mrs.  J. E. Milligan, Petty- Mrs. John Greenlee, Russell- Mrs. Ross Cunningham. A portion of the money received from the sale of Christmas seals was be set aside for the employment of a county nurse.
  • A Women’s Democratic Organization was formed with Mrs. Geo. W. Lackey- Chairman, Mrs. O. H. Hedden- Secretary, and Mrs. J. B. Bryant- treasurer. Congratulations to the Women’s Democratic Organization on their 100- year anniversary. 
  • The Lawrence County Farm Bureau was organized February 24, 1920, by the election of W. F. Crews, president, C. J. Sheridan, vice president, Frank A. Stansfield, secretary and James Gillespie, treasurer.  Executive committee members were Anton Lahr, Charles Miles, J. C. Piper, Wade Nuttall and Marion Morris. With meetings to be held at the courthouse, funds were appropriated to buy furniture for the office space.  The membership at the beginning was 340.   Congratulations to the Farm Bureau on their 100- year anniversary. 
  • Lawrenceville, under the guidance of A. L. Maxwell, organized a Chamber of Commerce in March, 1920. first board of nine directors elected were: T. L. Andrews, G. C. Armstrong, A. J. Faust, Isaac Hill, J. D. Horner, Paul Lewis, A. L. Maxwell, C. H. Parriott and N. M. Tohill. Congratulations to the Chamber on their 100- year anniversary. 

General news and just plain gossip March. 1920


  • Louis Leverich of White House neighborhood was driving a new Buick Six.
  • Rex Smith was attending an art school in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
  • Lawrenceville and vicinity were visited with a severe wind story in March, 1920.  The eastern part of the county suffered most of the damage. The shifting sand worked its way through every crevice and crack in houses and barns.  It was even impossible to hold service at May Chapel church.  The top of the high school flag pole was broken and the hot bed frames belonging to agriculture class were crushed.
  • The small pox situation in Lawrenceville had improved. Only five families were under quarantine and no new cases had been reported for several days.
  • And finally, Walter Pettyjohn posted a notice that he would not be responsible for his wife’s debts.


Wednesday, March 25, 2020

People in the News, March 1920


March-- 1920
C. D. Stoltz resigned as Lawrenceville Chief of Police and W. H. Kyger was appointed to fill the vacancy.  Mr. Stoltz left for Hunter, Arkansas, where he was to be in charge of a saw mill and lumber yard. 

 Rev. G. W. Shepherd tendered his resignation as Mayor of the City of Sumner effective April 6, 1920.  Altermen at that time were Early Beadle, D. W. Baker, J. D. Spitler, I. M. Hillis, and Mac Pepple.

The County Supervisors gave $1500 for a Farm Advisor and allowed a room in the court house to be used as an office by the newly organized Farm Bureau.  

Grand jurors for the May term were: Allison- Sam Haines, P. A. Loften.  Bond- Edward McCarty, John Malcom. Bridgeport- Josiah Nell, and John McGuire. Christy- E. C. Propes, E. D. Staats, Everett Gregg.  Denison- John Ridgley, Thomas Easterday, Thomas Gillespie. Lawrence- Wm. Darnold, H. H. Hicks, Isaac Noe. Lukin- Sam Moore, Wm. Milligan, Josh King. Petty- S. N. Hobbs, Geo. W. Trueblood, Albert Westall. Russell- W. S. McCarty, Reuben Solinger.

Employees in the County Tax Collector’s office were Mrs. Florence Cooper, Mrs. Emerson Caudle, Miss Reba Maxwell and J. P. Martin.

J. A. Wood was added to the list of carriers at the Lawrenceville Post Office. He was to be in charge of all parcel post packages for local delivery, which would lighten the work of the three city carriers.

Attorney Byron Sumner sued the city of Sumner for back salary as the city attorney.  The Sumner City Council reduced his salary from $10 to $5 a month. He won and the city appealed.

For the six months from September to February, 1920, it cost the Lawrence County taxpayers $12,813.33 to clothe and feed the paupers of the county, $2,200.70 to keep them warm and $3,812.35 to keep them well for a six- month total expenditure of $18,826.38.  For the same six months, $513.46 worth of coal was burned at the court house and jail.


Easter Sunday 1915
 L-R Front row
H McGaughey, N Chamness, E Gillespie
Back row H Highsmith, B Lesseig,
M Mendenhall, M Bower, G Hill, and P Grow.  
Mrs. W E McCarty of Pinkstaff advertised that she had new spring hats for sale. Mrs. Thompson advertised she had spring hats at her shop on East State Street, Lawrenceville, opposite the new hotel. Stephen Hat Shop on the east side of the square advertised that doll hats would be given to customers who purchased Easter millinery for children.

Warner and Gray Bros were undertakers in Lawrenceville.  M. L. Warner was the embalmer. 

George D. Piper sold his tailoring shop in the Wagner building in Sumner to Willie and Harry Piper.  


Roy E. Neal, florist, offered green carnations for St. Patrick’s Day.

Dowels Florist on 1525 W. Lexington, Lawrenceville,  advertised special Easter bouquets and baskets, Easter boxes and corsages.

C. W. Conour sold his feed grain business in Sumner to Otis Klingler

Johnson Auto Company, located on  Jefferson Avenue just east of 12th S, Lawrenceville, received eleven new Buicks driven from the factory at Flint, Michigan. Among the drivers were Mac Kingery, Joe Lingenfelter and Perry Lewis.

Mrs. Pearl Yelch, located over the City Cigar Store, west side of square, was going out-of-business. All wallpaper was on sale for 15 cents a roll.  

And finally, Lawrenceville barbers agreed to raise the price of hair cuts and shaves effective April 1, 1920. It would cost 25 cents to get your whiskers amputated and 50 cents to have your hair trimmed.  

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

John Dowell, Wm Donnelly, and Wm Myers-- Havoline Ballplayers

John Dowell 1920s
The Mt Vernon Register complained that Lawrenceville Havolines were notorious for playing “bad baseball” as opposed to the Mt Vernon Car Manufacturers (aka, the Car Builder team). This statement was no doubt made by angry Mt Vernon sports fans, because their manager, John Dowell, had tendered his resignation in 1920, and signed with Lawrenceville as first baseman. The fact that he had been employed by the Indian Refining Co. caused a newspaper reporter to state that his big salary was based on his merits as a player, not as an employee.  “Dowell is wicked with the stick, one of the cleverest men on the bases in semi-pro circles, a classy outfielder and a steady infielder."

According to the Lawrence County newspapers, Manager Storer of the Havolines announced that training would start as soon as the weather permited. A new feature of the training that spring would be the introduction of soccer as well as the medicine ball to limber up the boys.  Two new men, both newly employed by the Indian Refinery, arrived in town and were signed with the team, Wm. Donnelly of Proctor, Vermont, a catcher and Wm. Myers of Hematite, Missouri, an infielder who had been a professional ballplayer for a number of years. D.C. Bradshaw, who had signed up with the Boston Nationals in 1919, returned to play ball with the Havolines in 1920.    The players then under contract for the 1920 season were Manchester and Donnelly, catchers; “Hawkshaw” Everdon, “Father Time” Teague, Friday, and Richardson, pitchers; Bonham, Dowell, Myers, Kelly and Cullom, infielders; Gosnell, Chapelle and Hambrich, outfielders. 

This was no hometown amateur team, Readers.  Games with the St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee American Association were promised for the year.

Wm Donnelly 1920

Wm Meyers 1920

Monday, March 23, 2020

Evangeline Highsmith, Nurse WWI


Evangeline Highsmith, Nurse WWI  1895-1920

According to all who knew her, Evangeline Highsmith was a beautiful girl, quiet and gentle, yet cheerful and optimistic.  She was a nurse during WWI and looking forward to working in her vocation upon the war’s end, when she was struck down the day after Thanksgiving of 1919, with a disease that eventually cut her promising career short.  

Evangeline was born into the Flat Rock[1] home of George M. and Rebecca Calvert Highsmith on November 25, 1895. Her childhood days were spent there.  On reaching the age of 12, she and her parents moved to Lawrenceville. Her mother died in 1909; Evangeline, her father and younger sister, Hazel, lived on Main Street (renamed 11th Street in 1911), and the girls attended the city schools. 

Ruby Zehner was a classmate of Evangeline’s. During their third year of high school in Lawrenceville, the building was destroyed by fire.  Instead of completing her Junior and Senior years there, Evangeline entered McKendree College where she finished her courses. She then spent one year in the University of Illinois. Receiving her teacher’s certificate, she taught one year at Georgetown, Illinois.   

In September, 1918, Evangeline answered her country’s call for nurses and entered into her training.  She was stationed at Camp Shelby (Hattiesburg, Mississippi), Camp Custer (Battle Creek, Michigan), Camp McPherson (Atlanta, Georgia) and finally, Camp Fox Hill, New York where her training alternated between the army hospital and the civilian hospital in Brooklyn.

Upon Evangeline becoming sick, her father was notified and visited her.  The cause of her illness was unknown; she died Sunday, January 11, 1920, and her body was returned to Lawrence County for burial in the city cemetery.

A military escort of about forty ex-service men under the command of Lt. P. H. Lewis from the American Legion, attended the services at the Methodist church in Lawrenceville and accompanied the remains to the cemetery where taps were blown by J. A. Wood.  The services were said to have been very impressive; the casket simply draped in the folds of the flag; the casket surrounded by many floral pieces, a silent tribute to one whose will, was to serve.



[1] While the 1900 census indicates that the family was living in Bond Township, the obituary stated that she had been born in Flat Rock. This village, while technically in Crawford County, IL, lies very close to the Lawrence County line and it is conceivable that the family, living across the line in Lawrence County, provided the Flat Rock post address as the location of their home.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Muskrats, Truancy, Armed Robbery, and Car Thief -1920s


More Legal News for March, 1920

Elmer Anderson, Henry Mills and John D. Welton pled guilty to trapping without a license and were fined $25 and costs, a total of $32 in each case.  Lewis Portee was arrested on the same charge and was charged with having a quail in his possession contrary to law. It cost him a total of $59.  Raymond Hays, 14, was arrested by a deputy game warden after it was learned that he had trapped four muskrats and two opossums.  The jury who heard the evidence returned a verdict of not guilty.  The youth lived in Russell township and caught his muskrats in the Otter Pond ditch.

John Wells of Bridgeport was arrested by Sheriff Stivers for not keeping his children in school; Justice Brookhart assessed the usual $5 and costs.

Cora B. Dean was appointed guardian of Roy Otis Dean, Ellen Dean, and Elisa Dean, minors.

Ira Carrell was arrested on a complaint by Nydia Bath, who charged that Carrell challenged her to a fight and was guilty of conduct calculated to constitute a breach of the peace.  City Attorney McGaughey appeared for the prosecution, and P. H. Lewis for the defense.  After considerable talking back and forth, it was agreed that the suit would be dismissed if the parties would sign an agreement that for one month, neither party nor their families would speak to the other, go upon the premises of the other or counsel their friends to do so. Also, the parties agreed that they would not make any statement to another person regarding the other or his family or do anything what might tend to aggravate or provoke the other or his family.  As a final clause it was agreed that they would not throw anything upon the premises of the other or cause anything to be deposited by another.  From all of this, it is hoped that peace and harmony would prevail in the neighborhood for at least one month.

Virgil Akers, of Bridgeport, was arrested and taken before Justice Brookhart. Earlier sometime in 1919, Akers and a man named Yettman entered a gambling joint in Bridgeport and, at the point of a gun, relieved the inmates of their surplus wealth.  Yettman was arrested but Akers made his get- away. 

One night in March, thieves entered the garage of A. M. Gee on West State Street, Lawrenceville, and made off with his new Hudson speedster.  There has been no trace of the car or the thieves.